The Interior Design/Nursing Parallax

OR  Nurse! Nurse! Should I go with the Chartreuse or the Puce?

Okay so I am guilty of being obtusely acerbic. While I take the issue of ID professionalism very seriously I have to humor myself to make it fun….at least for me.  

What the profession (as defined by NCIDQ) of Interior Design is dealing with is so similar to the Nursing profession that it is impossible to ignore.  Huh? Are you daft? Well yes but check this out.

The profession of Nursing offers a perfect parallel to the struggle of Interior Design to validate and advance itself amongst allied design professions and society in general. Interior Designers deal with Architects (some better than others) and Nurses must work with (or for) M.D.’s. Hence the parallax. We both have the same goals but our focus is dependent on our relationship with those in positions of professional authority. If you maintain that we are not in some way subservient to, or dependent in any way on, the profession of architecture all I can say is- we would not exist without them.

The Interior Design profession as we (NCIDQ/CIDA/IDEC and yes ASID & IIDA and even our Canadian neighbors) have defined it is not really Interior Design. It is different (not necessarily better (key point)). Think about that………We have created a hybrid of Interior Design that is nearer to Architecture than some of us care to admit. Much as Nurse Practitioners are able to directly support M.D.’s.  Certified Interior Designers directly support Architects…we help them make buildings better.

While I maintain that we are closer to Nurse Practitioners (ARNP) than LPN’s or RN’s, the proponents of Interior Architecture may disagree (that is another story). Please see this link if you are interested in this professional analogy.

If we truly want to earn the right to demand governmental oversight of our “profession” we had better figure out who we are, what we do and clearly elucidate our exclusive ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public before we spend another dime on lawyers & lobbyists.

2 responses to “The Interior Design/Nursing Parallax”

  1. There is already some precedent for multi-level credentialing status in ID that is similar to the nurse system (as well as other professions)

    I question the difference between “certified” and “registered” seems a bit confusing but maybe that is just me. Anyway I think we are reading from the same book we just have to get on the same page.


  2. Here is another interesting parallel to our professional validation.

    The profession of Lighting Design is struggling with the same issues- note there is no mention of obtaining a “license” to practice… steps


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